YouTube isn’t simply an entertainment platform; every video marketing expert will tell you it’s a powerful social media marketing tool. Boasting 2.3 billion registered users in 2021 (Statista), the video-sharing platform enables you to widen your audience reach, generate brand awareness and bolster your business’s online success.
However, uploading random content won’t give you the results you want. To generate valuable video marketing wins, you must discover how to get more views on YouTube. Understanding how the YouTube recommendation system works and adjusting your strategy accordingly helps you:
• Stand out and get seen by your target audience
• Put your videos – and your brand – in front of more viewers
• Drive qualified traffic to your website
On the other hand, failing to grasp how to get recommended on YouTube leads to:
• Videos that don’t get found online
• Failure to build a strong and recognizable brand
• Wasted time, efforts and money in producing video content
So the question isn’t really about whether or not you should prioritize YouTube – the answer is a clear YES.
If you want to make the most of the platform and build a solid brand, there are other critical queries to raise: What is the YouTube algorithm, and how does it work? How does YouTube recommend videos? How can you optimize your video content, so the platform shows it to more viewers?
The YouTube recommendation system may seem complex, but we’re here to simplify it for you. In the following sections, we summarize the key points you need to know about the YouTube recommendation system and YouTube video SEO. Get ready to take notes so you can have your content included in YouTube recommended videos in no time!
What Is the YouTube algorithm?
YouTube algorithms are a set of rules that sort posts and display them in users’ feeds based on relevance rather than publish time. They’re built to help viewers find videos that inspire, teach and entertain.
What you should know about the YouTube recommendation system is that it generates a significant amount of viewership on the platform. YouTube’s VP of Engineering Cristos Goodrow said recommendations bring more views than search or channel subscriptions.
This further emphasizes the importance of understanding how to get recommended on YouTube. If you want to maximize your video content production efforts, you must crack the code on how to get YouTube to recommend your videos.
How Does the YouTube Algorithm Work?
In a blog post, Goodrow offered an in-depth explanation of how the recommendation system works. You can check it out to know how to get your video recommended on YouTube straight from the team behind it.
But if you want to jump right into the actionable facts about the algorithm, we listed down some key takeaways here:
YouTube’s Recommendation Engine Has Multiple Algorithms
YouTube’s recommendation system has no single algorithm ranking all videos. The platform has multiple algorithms delivering relevant content to users in six different areas:
1. Search results
2. Home page
3. Suggested videos
4. Trending videos
Consequently, the ranking signals algorithms use to decide which videos to include in search results differ from the factors they use to display videos on the home page, YouTube recommendations, trending videos and so on.
The Top Ranking Factor Is Viewer Satisfaction
YouTube used different ranking factors to sort content over the years. In 2011, YouTube considered clicks and views when determining whether or not to include a video in YouTube recommended videos. But the team realized some viewers clicked on videos without watching them because it wasn’t what they were looking for. Watch time then became the top ranking factor in 2012.
But how does YouTube recommend videos in 2022? According to Goodrow, the top ranking factor since 2015 has been viewer satisfaction. YouTube doesn’t want its viewers to regret spending time watching videos on the platform, so it ranks content based on what leaves a user feeling satisfied.
YouTube’s Recommendation Engine Does Not Follow a Fixed Formula
So how does the YouTube algorithm work exactly? Goodrow explained in his blog post that the YouTube recommendation system develops “dynamically as viewing habits change.” It delivers relevant, valuable and responsible recommendations to users’ feeds by constantly paying attention to their viewing behavior.
The algorithms turn to various ranking signals, like the following:
• Clicks – The number of times people click on a video.
• Watch time – The total number of minutes people watch a video.
• Survey responses – User surveys asking viewers to rate the video they watched.
External Factors Also Influence YouTube Rankings
In addition to the ranking signals listed above, external factors impact your content’s ranking on the platform. Take note of these elements to figure out how to get recommended on YouTube:
• Topic interest – As you unlock the secret to how to get more views on YouTube, make sure to tackle relevant and popular topics. Avoid covering niche topics since they lack widespread interest.
• Seasonality – Viewership changes with seasons. For example, people watch more holiday-related videos toward the end of the year. Paying attention to seasonality is a prerequisite to discovering how to get YouTube to recommend your videos.
How To Get Your Video Recommended on YouTube
Before we share YouTube video SEO tips to help you get more views, we want to reiterate that the YouTube recommendation system is built to give people an enjoyable viewing experience.
That said, the most effective strategy on how to get your video recommended on YouTube is to aim for viewer satisfaction. The tips below show you how to execute with this approach and get your content included in YouTube recommended videos.
TIP #1: Study YouTube Video SEO
Since YouTube is also a search engine, you’ll need to apply SEO best practices to boost your visibility. Follow these tips to optimize your content and reach relevant audiences:
• Find the best topics to cover from what people are already looking for. Take a look at Google Trends or check the suggestions showing up after you type your keyword on the search bar.
• Find high-volume keywords relevant to your brand and video content.
• Include your keyword in your video title, description and video tags to make the video visible in relevant search queries.
TIP #2: Invest in Your Video Production Process
Before getting technical and asking, “How does the YouTube algorithm work?” it helps to examine what makes your videos appealing to both viewers and YouTube’s recommendation system.
For this, we suggest investing in high-quality equipment and improving your production process. But if you can’t handle all of these in-house, partnering with a video marketing company enables you to carry out these tasks and more. YouTube video marketing services often encompass producing thoughtfully shot and edited videos and managing social marketing strategies.
TIP #3: Make Your Videos the Right Length
Just like how search engines love longer written content, the YouTube recommendation system tends to favor longer videos. This is because it wants to keep viewers on the platform for as long as possible.
However, avoid stretching your content for the sake of reaching your target length. Make your videos long enough but make sure they’re packed with information or entertainment value. Most importantly, work with your YouTube marketing agency or video marketing company to find the length that retains your target audience best.
TIP #4: Add Custom Thumbnails to Your Videos
Aside from answering the query, “How does the YouTube algorithm work?” you also need to take note of user behavior on the platform: As they skim through YouTube, viewers tend to do focus on the titles and thumbnails. And whether you like it or not, they automatically judge content based on these two things.
To successfully encourage users to watch your video, make sure your thumbnail:
• Stands out and reflects your brand
• Clearly and accurately says what your video is about
• Works well with your title
Enlist YouTube Video Marketing Services To Optimize Your Videos for Success
In this blog, we’ve tackled key questions such as what is the YouTube algorithm and how does YouTube recommend videos. To recap quickly, YouTube’s recommendation system comes with multiple algorithms built to deliver valuable video content to users and keep them on the platform.
To generate lasting YouTube wins, you must craft content that both viewers and algorithms want to see. This can be a long trial-and-error process, but it’s necessary for your online success.
Fortunately, you don’t have to figure out how to get recommended on YouTube on your own. If you need a video marketing expert by your side, we’re here for you!
Thrive is a YouTube marketing agency with a track record of producing high-quality video content and launching successful social ad campaigns. As a video marketing company that’s been around since 2005, we’re familiar with the ins and outs of the YouTube recommendation system. And we know the most effective strategies for creating, polishing and publishing videos that generate massive views and great ROIs.
Ready to widen your audience reach and generate brand awareness with fully optimized videos? Get in touch with our YouTube marketing agency today, and let’s get the cameras rolling!